Bertha Pieringer died peacefully the evening of August 15, 2013 She was 85 years old. She remained under the loving care of her husband Robert and son Scot in her home in Waterview Farms in Oak Bluffs.
Bertha was born in Englewood, New Jersey, the only child of Anna and Hugo Schirmer of Harrington Park, New Jersey. She was a graduate from the Katharine Gibbs School in New York. In her first job she became Director of Personnel for the Bristol-Myers Company in New York.
She married her high school sweetheart, Robert Pieringer, in 1950 and eventually settled in Alpine, New Jersey, where she raised a family of four boys. It was a hectic time as Robert was often away on assignment for CBS-TV. During that time she also served as the Borough Clerk for the town of Alpine, sometimes issuing marriage and dog licenses from her side porch. She served in that position for 28 years and she was honored for her service by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.
In 2002 Bertha and her husband retired to the David Howard designed post-and-beam house her husband built for her in Waterview Farm. She became active in the Vineyard Garden Club, volunteered at the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, and belonged to Farm Neck Golf Club. During the winter months she and her husband retreated to Harbour Island in the Bahamas and to Marco Island, Florida. They also enjoyed cruises which took them to the far corners of the world.
Bertha suffered a stroke in 2007, but that did not deter her from her dream of visiting the ancestral home of her Swedish grandmother. She found mention of a farm in Sweden among some letters of her mother’s and hired an investigator to locate the property. In the summer of 2008 Bertha took her entire family, an entourage of 13, to the farm in Sweden where they were warmly embraced by their long –lost relatives. It was among her happiest moments.
Bertha is survived by her husband of 63 years and sons Craig (Nan), Gary (Ann), Scot, and Wayne. There are five grandchildren, Anna and Andrew; Sarah, Matthew, and Amanda.
A Memorial Service will we held at 2 pm on Saturday, September 21, at the First Congregational Church in West Tisbury. Donations in her memory are being received by Hope Hospice, P.O. Box 4188, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or www.hopehealthco.org.
Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs. Please visit the web site for online guest book and information.